How to Know You Have Hired the Wrong Attorney in Your Divorce.

I woke up this morning needing to tell you something that shines a light on what is most important in hiring an attorney for your divorce.  You see, one of the reasons I started this business (being an attorney myself) and feel so passionate about it is because I have seen family law attorneys (and attorneys in other areas of the law) become part of the process in a not so positive way.  Some attorneys thrive on conflict, and others thrive on the power it gives them to advocate on behalf someone who cannot advocate for themselves as well.  Being a public defender, immigration attorney and GLBT advocate, I know latter syndrome really well.  It makes the attorney feel better that they are able to take the burden off the client and some become almost a caretaker.

What often happens, though, is the client is disempowered by the relationship.  The client relies and looks so up to the attorney representing him or her that the attorney becomes the client.  The client is silenced.  The client is not part of the process anymore.  In family law, this is especially detrimental, in my view, to the process because the attorney-client relationship essentially ends and one of the key people in the family is not talking for him or her anymore.  The compassion, love, memory of the relationship from that perspective no longer speaks.  Once the divorce process is over then, that client is left to his or her own abilities to co-parent successfully, to communicate with his or her ex, and be an adult in life and in another (hopefully) healthy relationship.


Here are three very unique ways you know you have hired the wrong attorney to handle your divorce : 


  1. Your attorney begins to say in negotiations or in discussions with you, “well, I could never sign something that says that” or “I would never agree to that.”  If your attorneys stops remembering that you are the one that must decide (with his or her advice, of course) whether it makes sense for you and your family to sign something, you have a red flag.  If you begin looking to your attorney for every answer and have difficulty going inside yourself, you may need to seek counsel elsewhere to break the cycle.  I don’t care how much you want to bow out of the divorce process, when you do, you are not being an adult in the process.  I will save this for a future blog post because I was there one time and can speak to the feeling very well.  But, to avoid all now only makes it worse later.
  2. Your attorney never gives you an understanding of where the other side is coming from.  There are always two sides to any case, and if you are in litigation, a court may be asked to decide.  If your attorney accepts your story wholeheartedly and goes after the other side without thinking, asking or talking with you about your spouse’s emotions and triggers and the positives of his or her case or what a court might do in this situation, you have another red flag.  This is when you end up in court having spent tens of thousands of dollars and then get surprised by the result.  (and, usually you realize that you could have had that result in the beginning just trying to work it out.)
  3. Your attorney communicates with your spouse or spouse’s attorney on something important to you without discussing it or showing you the communication.  Talk about how miscommunication happens and how it escalates conflict.  Attorney-Client communication is key to having a healthy relationship and a divorce process with the least amount of conflict and drama.  When you already have more than two people in the mix, the telephone game is bound to start.  But, if you have an attorney who clears the communications with you, you ask yourself the three questions : is this true, is this an attack or retaliation move, is this really how I want things to look in the future?, and you still feel like the communication should go out, then you are good to go.


















Remember, you are wise.  You know what is right when you are quiet, still and listen to your higher self.  Love is truly the only answer here.  Only you, not your attorney, can speak to that truth.


 “When we turn on light, the darkness disappears; and when we turn on love, the ego disappears.” — Marianne Williamson


I hope this is helpful to you.  Please let me know what you think by replying to this email, leaving a comment on the blog or on the facebook page.


I hope you have a blessed day today.
With love and light,







P.S. If you are looking for a coach to help you divorce different and do it less expensively (much less!) and with a huge reduction in conflict, contact me by replying to this email now or call me (202) 587-2772.


P.S.S. If you are struggling to find a way through this process and you live in Washington, DC or Maryland, call me to discuss my family mediation services.  (202) 587-2772.


One comment

  • W. Bailey

    Practiced law for 20+ years (now retired) and was appalled by the members of the bar who took over a client and case and made it all about “winning” for the attorney. The client’s needs and desires were disregarded, the welfare of children was ignored, cost was a factor only as it related to the attorney’s fee. I was not a perfect attorney, none are, but I did try to understand my client and his/her needs, both emotional, spiritual, morally, and financially. I did not ever want to try to avoid seeing a former client in a public or social setting because I had supplanted my needs for my client’s.

    March 13, 2013

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